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April 27, 2009

This past Saturday evening, our local Section of the Alpine Club of Canada had it’s annual evening get-together where we stuff ourselves silly, catch up on everyone’s adventures from the past year of climbing (lots of great films and slide shows), and, most importantly, give a nod to all of our volunteer leaders that help make the Section what it is:  a fantastic organization full of great people.

Running an organization like our Section would simply not be possible without the tremendous amount of volunteer capital we have to draw on, in many cases from a limited number of individuals. That we are able to offer the level of opportunity and services that we do, to our membership and the greater climbing community, is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our volunteers.

Based on the amount of time and energy some of these folks put into the Club, you’d think they were paid employees or something! A fundamental difference between any volunteer organization and a traditional workplace though is that none of these people have to be involved with the Club to the extent that they are, or at all for that matter. They could all just as easily choose to direct their energy and time to volunteering elsewhere, or toward the pursuit of their own personal activities. We’re very fortunate to benefit from their contributions.

Every contribution from every volunteer, no matter how small, is of tremendous value to the Section and we would not be as successful as we are in their absence. This goes for everyone – from the senior trip leaders who conceive, organize and deliver our events, to the executive members who keep things running behind the scenes, to the newer members who have only a couple days a year to come out and climb and are the first to offer a belay during an outing. This year, we felt a few of our most exceptional volunteers deserved special recognition, and it was my privilege to present three of them with National awards from the Alpine Club of Canada.

Congratulations to Brian Bottan and Jenn Chikoski, both deserving recipients of the Don Forest Service Award. The Section would not be the same without their contributions and outstanding trip leadership. Special congratulations are also due to Wes Bender, recipient of the Distinguished Service Award. Wes’ contributions to the Club are far beyond what could be reasonably expected of any volunteer, and I’d hate to imagine our Section without him. All three recipients are more than deserving of this recognition – thanks on behalf of all of us.  I truly hope all three will continue to remain actively involved with the Alpine Club.  All of them are shining examples of great volunteers and leaders.

Wes hard at work.

Wes hard at work.

Jenn leading during a Women's Ice Day.

Jenn leading during a Women's Ice Day.

Brian putting in that all important belay time.

Brian putting in that all important belay time.

You can learn more about these awards on the Alpine Club of Canada’s main site here.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 6, 2009 15:20

    This is really great! Very cool that you could give these CAA awards to your volunteers.

    • May 6, 2009 15:21

      ACC that is.

      • Nick Buda permalink*
        May 6, 2009 17:35

        Yeah – it’s nice to have a way to recognize those that go above and beyond, all very deserving too!

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